Drugs didn't kill Brittany Murphy say family

Thursday 21 January 2010 11:32

A month after Brittany Murphy's mysterious death, her mother and husband say they are convinced the actress died of natural causes, not drugs or an eating disorder.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Sharon Murphy and Simon Monjack said that Murphy did not use drugs or alcohol and that they are awaiting a determination from coroner's officials that will end speculation prescription medicine caused Murphy's death on December 20 at age 32.

Monjack said some of the prescription medications found in the couple's Hollywood Hills home belonged to him.

Murphy had mitral valve prolapse, a common condition where a heart valve does not properly close, but doctors said the actress "would live a long and healthy life," Monjack said.

"She had a fear of dying," Sharon Murphy said. "She would not take too much caffeine. She wouldn't even have a glass of champagne on New Year's. She was just high on life, and people see that as something else, I guess."

Murphy, who appeared in films such as Clueless, 8 Mile and Sin City and the television series King of the Hill, was buried in a private funeral on Christmas Eve.

At the service, Monjack told mourners that the actress was his best friend and soul mate, sentiments he repeated during the interview.

Monjack, a British screenwriter who married Murphy in 2007, said police and coroner's officials have not contacted the family to say his wife's death was from anything other than natural causes.

Authorities continue to investigate her death but do not suspect foul play. An autopsy was inconclusive and coroner's officials are awaiting the results of toxicology and tissue tests.

Sharon Murphy described the wait for answers as torture. "We wish we knew," she said.

"She was alive one minute and she was dead the next," Monjack said.

The pair worked frantically to save Murphy's life, as revealed in a heart-wrenching emergency call where Sharon Murphy implores, "Brittany, please come back!" as Monjack performs CPR.

Sharon Murphy said she has largely ignored tabloid reports that have suggested her daughter abused drugs or had an eating disorder. She said her petite daughter ate often, but burned the calories off with an active lifestyle.

Monjack called the reports lies based on anonymous sources who weren't close to Brittany Murphy or him. He said he is considering suing some British outlets for "outright fabrications."

He said he is also considering whether to sue the Los Angeles County Coroner's Department over an initial report that was obtained by celebrity website TMZ.com, which listed several prescription medications found in Murphy's home. Monjack said most of the medicines listed in the report were his.

He said his wife took the anti-seizure medication klonopin ever since an episode she had while filming 8 Mile. She also occasionally took Sarafem, a drug aimed at pain and mood swings during menstrual periods, Monjack said.

Klonopin has been cited in several celebrity overdose deaths, but with many other medications mixed in.

Monjack said he did not think a harmful interaction of drugs played a role in his wife's death. She had been sick with flulike symptoms in the days before her death and had been taking cold medicine but nothing more, he said.

The couple had plans to start a family and move to New York. Monjack said they already had baby names picked out, and Sharon Murphy said her daughter was talking about having a child the night before she died.

They said a memorial would be held next month to celebrate Brittany Murphy's life, coinciding with the launch of the Brittany Murphy Foundation. Her husband said the foundation would support arts education for children and other causes his wife believed in.

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